hiking

trail running

views

camping

backpacking

dog friendly

wild flowers

forest

lake

wildlife

birding

nature trips

walking

river

horseback riding

waterfall

hiking
5 days ago

I hiked this trail as a day hike with my dog and a friend in November 2017. I had seen the previous recording of 14-15 miles and thought that I could do that in a day hike at a quick pace. The trail ended up being 20+ miles to Alpine lake from Stuart Fork TH. We got held up for 30+ minutes trying to find a dry place to cross Stuart Fork about 7 miles into the hike. There was no definite dry crossing established, so we took off our shoes and waded through midcalf deep frigid water. The climb from the creek to alpine lake is steep , a good work out , though hard to do at a fast pace when sunset is nearing. We misjudged the elevation and got stuck in some snow for the last mile. Snow shoes would have allowed us to get to the lake, but we ran out of daylight. There was a beautiful waterfall that we accepted as worthy of our climb and started down to cross the creek before it got dark. Headlamps saved the day for the trek back to trailhead. I'll definitely retry this hike as part of a 3 day backpacking trip including Emerald and sapphire lakes when the snow clears and will re-review at that time. Overall, pretty hike, challenging ascent.

I backpacked to Emerald and Sapphire Lakes as a 2 days backpacking trip with my dog near the end of October. It was stunning the entire way from trailhead to the lakes. Fall 2017 in the Trinities was a very vibrant autumn and this trail really showed off the yellows and oranges of the deciduous trees lining the trail. The contrast of dark green evergreens vs yellow maples vs the Stuart Fork creek was beautiful. I camped up at Emerald lake, just barely made it before sunset - I clocked 16 miles on my fitbit. There was only one other tent there. I passed only 2 other couples along the trail and they ended up camping at the meadows. Walking through forests, along a creek, through a random meadow, crossing a few small waterfalls and constant views of the valley's peaks. It was a very secluded hike. The trail is well maintained. The scramble up to Sapphire lake gives a beautiful view of the valley you just climbed up.

I did this hike first week of December with my dog. The drive up to the trailhead was almost as beautiful as the actual hike - beautiful views of the Weaverville and surrounding mountains the whole way up to the lookout tower. If you're looking for a beautiful drive (a little under 2 hour drive from Redding - AWD or 4WD recommended but not necessary) and an easy hike to a beautiful alpine lake, then this is it. Easy as far as short in distance, there is still incline both ways to consider. I happened to get caught in a snow storm during the hike, so visibility of the lake wasn't ideal. But the granite ridges, iced over lake and surrounding evergreens along the trail covered in snow was a beautiful scene. I can't wait to go back and hike this again once the snow clears.

one of the best views

backpacking
1 month ago

Best hike I've done so far, excellent views!! This is a great backpacking experience. What you want to do this time of year is camp in the woods, set up camp and rest so when you get up early in the morning you can continue to complete the loop. The reason that I say this is because even though camping by the lake might seem like a great idea, it is very cold and windy and there is no wood to make a fire at night!!

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
2 months ago

Had an amazing 2 nights up here. Absolutely stunning. ❤️❤️❤️

The best solo backpacking trip I've done so far. Firstly, this is 15 miles from the trailhead to Emerald Lake or back. I used my fitbit to calculate the return route on my last day.

Here's what you should know:

1. Dirt Road Approach is about 2 miles so drive slow and definitely make sure you have tools just in case.
2. No service about 30 min before you even get to trinity county so be aware.
3. Trail has lots up ups and downs through the forest but so worth the hike, make sure you stay hydrated and stop for snacks/rest.
4. Hiking shoes are a must.
5. Ran into 6 snakes, but they slithered away so just watch where you step.
6. If you're camping at the Meadows for your first night, note that you will approach a sign right before it that breaks a trail in half. The right will say "trail", the left won't have a sign but head left into the meadows to camp. Going right will just take you further up the trail. Morris Meadows is also 9 miles from trailhead, just fyi if you're keeping track.
7. There are plenty of streams to refill your bottles.
8. Once past the meadows, its like walking through a jungle. Its sooo incredible.
9. I camped out at the top of Emerald lake next to the waterfall. Didn't run into a single animal. I definitely recommend it.
10. Keep your food secured and away from your camp, lots of bears (I've heard) and critters.
11. You can camp at several creeks/lakes before or past the meadows as well. Deer creek is great if you're going solo. The waterfall will put you to sleep in no time.
12. Lastly, enjoy the beauty of this magical place !!! I'm so glad I went.

backpacking
4 months ago

backpacking
4 months ago

Emerald and Sapphire Lakes are both amazing. Here is a trip report with pictures that I wrote for a backpacking trip out to the lakes and back. https://backpackersreview.wordpress.com/trip-reports/trinity-alps-emerald-lake/

on Four Lakes Loop

hiking
4 months ago

backpacking
4 months ago

Do an overnight this past weekend. This hike has amazing view, beautiful meadows full of vibrant colors. Its a steady up hill for most of the 6 miles. Its not an easy feat. Went up and over Deer Creek Pass down to Dear Lake, a few tents were up, no really good spots to camp. Even thou I was worn out by this time, we trekked on to Luella Lake, we camped here for the night, with only one other group. We had the lake to ourselves early am and took a dip. Watched the sunrise and headed on up to Diamond Lake, for me this was the highlight of all the lakes. Another steep trudge up the switch backs and up Siligo Peak, very sketchy route the last 300 feet, but bagged the peak. Head back to Deer Creek Lake and begin the 6 mile journey home. This was one intense, hard hike. But worth the blood sweat and tears. There are only a few ideal spots by each lake. The parking lot was full, but didn't run in to much more than a handful of ppl........

Went a few weeks ago with some friends and it was a beautiful hike with views of mountains and waterfalls popping out as the trail turned and wound its way up the mountains, a gorgeous crystal clear green river that followed us for much of the way, and the beautiful granite and mountain-surrounded lakes at the end. The two less ideal aspects of the trip were the facts that the Upper and Lower Canyon Lakes are completely exposed with very little shade, so spending a day up there can be quite brutal (the water is freezing cold so you can't really stay in there for too long), and the hordes of people all along the trail and at the lake. it was very difficult to find a campsite and you were always within view and earshot of other groups, not to mention the strain that must put on the ecology. On the way back, we stopped by the crystalline river to have lunch, but it was marred by the smell of human waste. Please bury your waste and keep it off the trail and definitely at least 100 feet away from water.

there seems to be a lot of mis information about how long this hike is. The USFS map we picked up from the ranger station in Weaverville said 17 miles to Sapphire Lake. The sign at the trailhead at Bridge camp where everyone parks said 14. We took our Garmin and it read 11.5 on the way up and 12.5 on the way back. So who the heck knows! In any case it is one of the prettiest hikes I've ever done. Morris Meadows half way up is a great half way point if you wanted to take two days to make it to Sapphire. Both Sapphire and Emerald are gorgeous. Wear long pants past Morris Meadows, as Jonathan said below, it's like walking through a tropical jungle. The wildflowers and butterflies were gorgeous. We saw 6 snakes in 3 days so keep an eye out! None were rattlers.